Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's That? It's So Fancy!

It's a Peaches and Cream Charlotte!......

So we have a new obsession at our house….Madeleine cookies.  Have you guys tried them?  You know, the shell shaped cookies that you get at coffee places?  Yep, those.  We have been getting ours at Wholefoods.  The kind we get are made by Donsuemor.  Donsuemor is the company that makes the Madeleines that you get at Pete’s Coffee.  There a whole bunch of other places that you can get them too……If you look at their website (www.donsuemor.com).  There is a cute story of how Madeleines got their name too. 
Anycookie, I wanted to create a dessert using the Madeleines.  They are so pretty that I knew I could come up with a dessert recipe that was really easy, yet would look super fancy.  I think that is the best kind of recipe…You know, the kind that people think you spent a ton of time on, but really it took you 10 minutes?  Doesn’t that remind you of the old Rice Krispy treat commercial?  When the woman makes the treats in 5 minutes, but then splashes flour on her face and pretends it took her forever??
So after eating a whole pack of Madeleines myself, while I was in deep thought;), I came up with a great recipe for a Peaches and Cream Charlotte.  A Charlotte is an “ice box cake” made with soft cookies such as a Madeleine.  I won’t get into its history any more then that….as this is a food blog, not a history lesson.   But it is super easy, and looks amazing.  Besides a bunch of Madeleines, the other thing you have to have is a spring form pan.
To make this Charlotte, you need about 24 Madeleine cookies.  So don’t buy them at the counter at Pete’s, unless you like to buy them in small amounts;)  I also used heavy cream, almond extract, powdered sugar, frozen peaches (defrosted), Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread and sliced almonds.
I love fresh peaches, but I had to face the facts that it just isn’t peach season here in Northern Nevada.  I find frozen peaches to be better than canned, but you really can use whatever you have…..frozen or canned. 
I lined my spring form pan with the cookies.  I faced the pretty side of the cookie out because that is what you will see when the sides of the pan come off.  I also lined the bottom with cookies.  I broke the cookies in half to make them fit where needed.  That won’t show, so you don’t have to make it as pretty on the bottom. 
The next step is to mix your defrosted peaches with the peach spread. The peach spread will give great flavor to this cake.  It is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.  If you can’t find it, you could always use regular peach jam, but it won’t be nearly as good;)  Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread comes in 9 ounce jars.  You will need about 3/4th of the jar.  Save the rest for a PB&J…..
-You can find Gourmet Rooster products at www.gourmetrooster.com, Draeger’s, The Cheeseboard, The Royal Rooster, Piedmont Grocery, Maynard Station, Evergreen Gifts, Market Square Cheese, and Thrifty White.-
Stir gently so you don’t break up the peaches!
Finally, the cream needs a good whippin’.  I used about ½ of my little pint container.  You will also need to put about 1 tablespoon of almond extract in with your cream.  You will need to beat the cream until soft peaks are about to form.  At that point, you add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and continue beating until you have whipped cream.  Don’t whip for too long or you will get butter.  Sweet almond flavored butter.  Which sounds good, but not for this recipe.
Once the cream is whipped, you just layer the ingredients over the cookies.  The first layer is the peaches.  Then I spread the whipped cream on.  I topped the whipped cream with the sliced almonds, and popped the whole thing in the freezer for at least an hour.  Remember, this is an ice-box cake.  I am assuming you don’t have an old fashioned ice-box, so go ahead and use your freezer;)
Ta-da!  Finished product…..I told you it’s pretty!  And nobody has to know how easy it was to make….unless they read my blog too.  The whipped cream and peaches meld together when this cake freezes, and it becomes almost like ice cream.  The cookies keep their yummy cake like texture, and of course taste delicious.  I also love the almond in this recipe.  Almonds and peaches were made for each other….like Brad and Angelina, Barbie and Ken, Maria and Arnold…oops, bad example.  But you get my point;)
Who wouldn’t want to eat this?  You can make it now!  Tonight!  Get yourself some Donsuemor Madeleines!  And fresh peaches if you can……
Peaches and Cream Charlotte
Donsuemor Madeleine Cookies, about 24
16 oz. bag frozen peaches, defrosted
6 oz. Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread
½ pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
¼ cup sliced almonds

Cover the bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan with Madeleine cookies, curved side facing down.  Line the sides of the pan with the curved side facing out.
Mix together the defrosted peaches with the peach spread.  Cover the cookie layer with the peaches.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the whipping cream with the almond extract.  When soft peaks have just started to form, add the powdered sugar.  Beat until desired consistency is reached.  Spread whipped cream on top of peach layer.  Top with sliced almonds.
Place cake in freezer for at least one hour.  Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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